Currently…

I am a very slow writer. As a result, posts tend to lag what I am currently thinking and doing. This page gets updated whenever I start or stop something and is therefore fairly up to date.

TL;DR

  • In Portland through June: to spend time with our kids, getting to know people, and evaluate the area as a possible new home
  • Jul: back in Bay Area for a bit to see friends
  • Aug: Iceland
  • Sep/Oct: in Spain
  • Nov: Taiwain
  • Dec: Bay Area
  • Continuing to think about what it means to live a life centered on loving my neighbor and put what I learn into practice.
  • Finding opportunities to build community, coach, mentor, and encourage.

2023 Retro

Home Base? / Random Travel

We have been living a semi-nomadic existence since 2022 as we determine where to plant ourselves for the next season of life. Looking for a place where we have opportunities to use our gifting to contribute to the community, a vital church we can serve at, weather than is friendly to outdoor activities, and ideally has reasonable cost of living. We want a medium size multi-cultural city with universities, and the resources needed to do good design work. Extra credit for cities that don’t require a car (e.g. walkable, effective mass transit).

Our initial list of possible home bases included Bay Area (SF, Berkeley, Mid-Penisula), Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Rosa/Sebastopol, Portland/Vancouver, Seattle, Denver/Boulder, DC/Northern Virgina, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Austin, Las Vegas, Madison, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Nashville, and Asheville. We eliminated many of these cities after just a couple of weeks trying them out. We also considered international destinations which included Costa Rica, several south East Asian countries, Malta, and several cities in Portugal and Spain. I think EU as a home base is unlikely… though we will likely visit regularly, but still on the list unless Jackie eliminates it. Would love Aukland, London and Melbourne but they aren’t practical.

Staying in the Bay Area has a lot going for it, but is expensive and people are busy, driven and transactional, that the area is fairly toxic to healthy community. Vancouver/Portland looks promising. Housing is more reasonably priced which makes it much easier for Jackie to purchase and renovate houses. Will be closer to our two oldest kids, we would be able to attend Bridgetown Church which I love, can regularly visit the Portland Japanese garden, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. As an extra bonus, Washington has no state income tax, Portland has not sales tax.

We will also continue traveling to learn more about the world we live in. We are open to settling somewhere else. Jackie plans to do a “sampling” trip in Europe where we will visit numerous cities for a day or two to get a sense of where we would like to spend more time in the future and we will likely spend a month or two in Spain for a Spanish immersion class.

Community

I would love to find an ideal community… but of course that doesn’t exist. I know the best way to “find” a community is to build one. Invest time and love into a group of people. To have the perspective of an investor rather than consumer. That said, we are evaluating a number of cities, so I am going to pay attention to not just what I can give, but also what I can benefit from.

  • Community is the environment that allows humans to flourish. It’s where love is practiced and the where people grow.
  • What are the ingredients that make intentional communities thrive or fail.
  • Walking the camino let me witness how quickly community can form when people have time, have a common bond, and choose kindness / vulnerability. It breaks my heart that so many people experienced community and deep acceptance for the first time while walking the Camino. We need to do better.
  • Bridging political divides. Wondering if a developmental approach to politics might overcome the failing of centrism. Thinking about how Marshall Rosen’s Non Violent Communication can be applied to mediation.

Love supremely important

  • My first post about the topic of love and a follow-up about The Mark of a Christian by Francis Schaeffer has some theories. How to fight against the weaponized of religion, using it as a way to separate rather than authentic faith that calls for us bring the “other” close, to pursue true justice, care for and be compassionate toward all. Writings of Miroslav Volf seem to have some good ideas.

What is Essential for Maturity – How people grow and mature

  • Spiritual maturity is rooted in an experience with God. While needs to be orthodox, a focus on model of maturity informed by ideas promoted by life model works. The Life Model which integrates research by others in attachments style, healing trauma, and spiritual disciplines into a wholistic approach to maturing. Appreciated the idea that effective transformation is forming attachments / forging an identity which informs our “fast” brain rather that focusing all our energy on our much slower, conscious brain.
  • living an interactive life with God such as advocated by Renovare. How to balance between the six streams of spirituality and what living out those streams might look like.

Gratitude

  • I have discovered that people often had no idea how much of an influence they had. Interactions which were pivotal for me were not remembered by the other person. I have also discovered that I played a pivot role in others lives and often could not remember specific interactions that meant so much to them.
  • We often fail to tell people how much they mean to us. Rather than waiting til the last moments of their lives, or at a memorial service (Libby, Dad, Doug, Louie) I am striving to thank people who have had a large impact on my life while they are still healthy.
  • Being grateful can defend against adaptive hedonism. It would be easy to take the Bay Area for granted. The natives I met in 1992 took the weather and natural beauty for granted. I resolved to always appreciate the area. Every day I look up and the Santa Cruz hills and thank God. I have not grown tired of doing this, and continue to be thankful.

The Nature of Second Half of Life / Retirement / Being an Elder

  • Changing focus: what is pursued (Falling Upward), Types of intelligence (Strength to Strength), Āśrama, etc
  • Intentional / Rhythms of Life
  • Ikigai
  • Maturity as described by the life model. I love their description of an elder as someone who has matured to the point that they can act like parents-at-large for their communities
  • Past content: my announcement of retiring, and some thoughts about my Midlife Reset (Part I) and (Part III)

How to have a good Healthspan

Inspired by Stanford Lifestyle Medicine, Peter Attia, etc

  • Recovering from a frozen shoulder 🙁
  • Start jump rope and other things to improve balance
  • Plant based diet + egg whites / fish for protein
  • VO2max >46 in 2024.
  • Find a Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) (or equiv) trainer
  • Updating my body weight exercise regiment to work with my shoulder and the lack on any equipment

Later

  • Improve breathing using o2trainer.
  • Restart learning Tai Chi
  • Refine by Centenarian decathlon goals
  • Learn more about cardiac disease, get an updated lipid panel, etc
  • Blood flow restriction training using kaatsu?

Embodiment

I think western protestant Christianity View of the body has been more shaped by Plato than Jesus. Desire a biblical view of living embodied life.

Evangelicalism in the USA

  • The historical dynamics which led to the evangelical movement to pursue power to insure values of the 1950s in the USA continue to define our culture and led to an unBiblical “christian” nationalism. This has led to what Os Guiness referred to as cultural containment which will wreck the churches witness and damages our country.
  • The damage of building churches are celebrity and powerful leaders rather than servants, pastors, and equippers.
  • The growing number of people who are “deconstructing” their faith and what it says about the foundation that their faith stood on.

Simplicity

I continue to believe that simplicity is an extremely powerful tools and strive to use it wherever it is appropriate. In 2023 I trimmed down the what I was using. Part of this was to simplify travel. Partly I was to see how lightly / simply I could live. I was happiest when walking the Camino using just 15l of stuff. Around mid-year I posted I list of everything I planned to use in 2023 which is pretty close to what happened. 2024 is going to continue this practice.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about how there are a few simple truths which inform living a healthy and loving life. It’s amazing how much time it takes to properly capture simple ideas correctly.

Technology & Business

  • After using Evernote since 2009 with thousands on notes I have finally given up on it. Thought it might be OneNote, but ended up in Bear because tagging is better, good export capabilities, the UI is better, more natural to use on Apple products, and end2end encryption. I will later investigate obsidian.
  • Help friend develop a SecDevOps leadership curriculum for his university and write of some of the lessons I have learned for this blog.
  • Better integration between audio notes, automatic transcription, an Bear documents
  • Make a webpage + javascript which helps people visualize training targets to “compete” in the “Centenarian decathlon”.
  • Building a secure environment for personal computing. Becoming as “hack proof” as possible when facing a sophisticed advasary.